Rapper Kanye West appeared to threaten Jewish people in a tweet posted last Sunday, shortly after his Instagram account was restricted for content viewed by some users as antisemitic.
“I’m a bit sleepy tonight but when I wake up I’m going death con 3 On JEWISH PEOPLE The funny thing is I actually can’t be Anti Semitic because black people are actually Jew also You guys have toyed with me and tried to black ball anyone whoever opposes your agenda,” he wrote, in one of his first tweets in two years.
The post was later removed by Twitter for violating its rules.
“Death con 3” appears to be a mistaken use of the US military heightened alert status DEFCON 3.
West also posted against Meta’s Jewish founder Mark Zuckerberg for the Instagram restriction.
“Look at this Mark,” West wrote, sharing a photo of the two of them together. “How you gone kick me off instagram.”
Last Friday the 45-year-old, who goes by Ye, had posted a number of screenshots on Instagram of an argument with hip-hop star Sean Combs. The argument had erupted after West wore a “White Lives Matter” shirt at a fashion show and Combs had called him out on it.
In one of the messages to Combs, West said: “Ima use you as an example to show the Jewish people that told you to call me that no one can threaten or influence me.” West captioned the Instagram post “Jesus is Jew.”
West’s comments drew criticism from the American Jewish Committee, who said in a statement: “If he wants to have any credibility as a commentator on social issues, let alone as a musician, maybe he can start by figuring out how to make a point without fomenting hatred of Jews.”
Last Thursday, West claimed former White House senior adviser Jared Kushner brokered the Abraham Accords between Israel and several Arab nations in order “to make money”, during an interview with Fox News.
Criticism of West’s antisemitic comments has come from many corners.
“The holiest day in Judaism was last week. Words matter. A threat to Jewish people ended once in a genocide. Your words hurt and incite violence. You are a father. Please stop.”
That was one of the earliest celebrity responses to West’s “death con 3” tweet, coming just hours after the post itself. It was by actress Jamie Lee Curtis, who has been involved in restoring the synagogue in her Jewish grandparents’ Hungarian hometown and later said she cried upon reading West’s “abhorrent” tweet.
The holiest day in Judaism was last week. Words matter. A threat to Jewish people ended once in a genocide. Your words hurt and incite violence. You are a father. Please stop. pic.twitter.com/8iFuKwwspw
— Jamie Lee Curtis (@jamieleecurtis) October 9, 2022
Countless people issued similar statements. “Whether or not Kanye West is mentally ill, there’s no question he is a bigot,” the Jewish “Friends” actor David Schwimmer wrote in an Instagram post that went viral. “His hate speech calls for violence against Jews.”
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Other celebrities who have come out to criticise West’s statements and antisemitic incidents include Mandy Moore, John Legend, Billy Baldwin and Maria Shriver among many others.
The Holocaust Museum in LA has invited Kanye and the public to visit the museum to “understand just how words can incite horrific violence and genocides”.
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TIMES OF ISRAEL, AP, JTA